Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals Pick
Cleveland Browns (3-6-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
When: November 25, 2018, 1:00 PM EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
BY: Rick Wise
Point Spread: CLE +3/CIN -3
Takeaways From Week 11
The Browns were idle last week but scored a huge 28-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons the last time they took the field, snapping a four-game losing streak for their third win of the season.
The Cleveland offense looked better than it has all season. Offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens drew up a beauty of a gameplan that allowed both Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb to shine and give Browns fans a reason to believe that this team is truly on the verge of a turnaround. Mayfield finished 17-of-20 for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns and soared to his highest quarterback rating (97.1) and passer rating (151.3) of the season. Nick Chubb also had a career day with 20 carries for 176 yards and 1 touchdown and added another 33 yards and 1 touchdown on 3 catches.
The Browns run defense was uncharacteristically stout. The unit held Atlanta to 70 rushing yards on 19 attempts and a 3.7 yards per attempt average after conceding an average of 166.75 rushing yards per contest in the previous four games.
Meanwhile, the Bengals lost a tight one to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday 24-21, dropping them to 5-5 and third place in the AFC North after their second consecutive loss.
Marvin Lewis didn’t do so well in his new role as defensive coordinator. Lewis stepped in after the recent firing of Teryl Austin and the Ravens, particularly Lamar Jackson, ran wild. Baltimore posted 403 total yards of offense and Jackson was allowed to enter the record books in his very first professional start with 117 rushing yards, the second-most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback since 1970. Jackson also did pretty good as a passer, completing 13-of-19 for 161 yards.
The Bengals running game was a no-show. Andy Dalton led all runners with 29 yards on 2 carries as the ground game floundered for 48 total yards. Joe Mixon, who a couple weeks ago seemed destined for an 800-yard season, carried 12 times for just 14 yards.
These two teams have a long history against each other. Since 1970, they’ve done battle 89 times and the Bengals lead the series 50-39-0. Cincinnati has also had the upper hand of late, winning 8 of the last 10 dating back to 2013.
For Cleveland, listed as questionable for Sunday are T Desmond Harrison (illness) and WR Da’Mari Scott (shoulder).
For Cincinnati, listed as questionable for Sunday are WR A.J. Green (foot), LB Preston Brown (knee), TE Tyler Kroft (foot), LB Nick Vigil (knee), WR Josh Malone (hamstring).
When the Browns have the Ball
Cleveland’s offensive gameplan worked to perfection last time out. Their pass/run ratio was just about split down the middle with 21 passing attempts to 29 rushing attempts, which takes the load off of Mayfield and allows other players an opportunity to contribute, which Nick Chubb took full advantage of. Against Cincinnati’s league-worst total defense, and 31st-ranked scoring defense you can expect more of the same.
When the Bengals have the Ball
Andy Dalton sure misses A.J. Green. It’s the biggest reason their passing game is ranked 20th in the league and sinking fast. It would help to have a running game to offset things but the ground game is even worse at a rank of 28th in the league. Fortunately for them, Cleveland’s defense is as bad as theirs. The Browns rank 30th in the league in passing defense and 24th in run defense. This could be where Dalton and Mixon get back on track.
- Cleveland is 3-21-1 SU in its last 25 games
- Cleveland is 4-11-1 ATS in its last 16 games on the road
- Cleveland is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 13 of Cleveland’s last 19 games on the road
- Cleveland is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing CincinnatiCleveland is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Cincinnati
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Cleveland’s last 8 games when playing Cincinnati
- Cleveland is 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati
- Cleveland is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cleveland’s last 7 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati
- Cincinnati is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
- Cincinnati is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Cincinnati’s last 11 games
- Cincinnati is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
- Cincinnati is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Cleveland
- Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Cleveland
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Cincinnati’s last 8 games when playing Cleveland
- Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Cleveland
- Cincinnati is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Cleveland
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 7 games when playing at home against Cleveland
Temperatures of 54 degrees are expected for this one underneath partly cloudy skies with 78% humidity ad 7mph SE winds.
Rick Wise’s NFL Pick: Cincinnati -3